Well, Donald said that. No, seriously: it is a beautiful country with magnificent nature, great history and impressive tradition of democracy. But, and it is a big but, no one of us has ever visited this continent even though we live off its news and culture. Do we watch John Oliver? YES. Are we in love with the music from the movie First Man with Ryan Gosling? YES. Do we read the New York Times or the Atlantic? Time to time. And still, America stays somehow ungraspable. Beyond comprehension.
And this is why we just want to be there. To finally smell it, to pull off to some snack bar and drink this drip coffee from the glass kettles we know... well... from the movies! To order pancakes that look to oven-ready to taste good.
Additionally, as of January 2019, the number of armed guerillas and hidden landmines comes close to zero so we think it is a good starting point for our ambitious journey with two little kids.
Now, more soberly. We want to get closer to thinking of the Americans and modify our perceptions of this country. The polarisation in the U. S. is more appreciable than ever and it resembles the state of affairs we are currently having back home. The society in the Czech Republic is divided, too. There are basically two groups of people which are not able to agree upon almost anything. We want to find out what democracy and dialogue means to different people we will meet. If folks of various backgrounds actually share same basic human values or not.
Since one of our aims is to talk about the necessity of engaging as many people from all around the world in the decision-making processes, we need to talk to people who have something to do with human rights, public participation, democracy, communities. And we quite pleasedly realized that the abundance of NGOs and communities in the U. S. is astonishing. Be it a group for active older adults in Beaver Falls, PA, or a group founded for enhancement of participation of students somewhere in remote backwoods - these are proof of an enormous and admirable civic activity.